People in Pakistan are in utter shock and struck with grief after the recent robbery at the Edhi Foundation, the country’s leading charity organisation. According to police, eight robbers stormed the trust’s office in the Mithadar area of Karachi, held its staff hostage at gunpoint and woke up Abdul Sattar Edhi, 86, to get keys of lockers in which gold ornaments, other valuables and cash had been kept. The robbers took away about Rs30mn worth of gold and cash, according to a report.
Police say that most of the cash and gold ornaments had been deposited by people for safe-keeping because they trusted Edhi. It is one of the many free services offered for the poor and sick that are run from the small building in Mithadar, one of Karachi’s oldest neighbourhoods. Edhi is one of Pakistan’s most revered figures and has spent a lifetime building up its charity. The Edhi Foundation provides a broad range of free social services, including ambulances, orphanages and support for the elderly and disabled.
He has been nominated for the Nobel Prize award in the past in recognition of his charity work. Edhi started his charity work many years ago from a tent outside his small house. It has now become one of the largest charity networks of South Asia. The monthly budget of Edhi Foundation exceeds $10mn. According to the Guinness World Records, Edhi has the largest network of ambulance service in Asia.
Despite the charity service having a large budget, Edhi continues to lead a simple life. Despite his his old age he still works 18 hours a day and is never absent from his duty. Edhi’s “My Home” project provides relief to thousands of orphans, street children and old people. Several foreign governments have recognised his efforts and he has received a number of prestigious awards. But the merciless gang of robbers still targeted him, showing utter disregard for his work. What has the world come to!
Khawaja Umer Farooq